American English

Definition of spirit noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the part of a person that includes their mind, feelings, and character rather than their body the power of the human spirit to overcome difficulties
  2. 2spirits [plural] a person's feelings or state of mind to be in high/low spirits You must try and keep your spirits up (= stay cheerful). My spirits sank at the prospect of starting all over again.
  3. 3[countable] (always with an adjective) a person of the type mentioned a brave spirit kindred spirits (= people who like the same things as you) see also free spirit
  4. courage/determination
  5. 4[uncountable] courage, determination, or energy Show a little fighting spirit. Although the team lost, they played with tremendous spirit. They took away his freedom and broke his spirit.
  6. loyal feelings
  7. 5[uncountable, singular] loyal feelings toward a group, team, or society There's not much community spirit around here. see also team spirit
  8. attitude
  9. 6[singular] a state of mind or mood; an attitude We approached the situation in the wrong spirit. “OK, I'll try.” “That's the spirit (= the right attitude).” The party went well because everyone entered into the spirit of things.
  10. typical quality
  11. 7[singular] the typical or most important quality or mood of something The exhibition captures the spirit of the age/times.
  12. real meaning
  13. 8[uncountable] the real or intended meaning or purpose of something Obey the spirit, not the letter (= the narrow meaning of the words) of the law.
  14. soul
  15. 9[countable] the soul thought of as separate from the body and believed to live on after death; a ghost He is dead, but his spirit lives on. It was believed that people could be possessed by evil spirits. see also Holy Spirit
  16. imaginary creature
  17. 10[countable] (old-fashioned) an imaginary creature with magic powers, for example, a fairy or an ELF
  18. alcohol
  19. 11[countable, usually plural] (old-fashioned) a strong alcoholic drink I don't drink whiskey or brandy or any other spirits.
  20. 12[uncountable] a special type of alcohol used in industry or medicine
  21. Idioms
    as/when/if the spirit moves you
    jump to other results
    as/when/if you feel like it I'll go for a run this evening, if the spirit moves me.
    fighting spirit
    jump to other results
    a feeling that you are ready to fight very hard for something or to try something difficult
    in your thoughts I will be with you in spirit (= thinking about you though not with you physically).
    raise somebody's spirits
    jump to other results
    to make someone feel more cheerful or brave synonym cheer somebodyon The sunny weather raised my spirits a little.
    the spirit is willing (but the flesh is weak) (humorous) (saying)
    jump to other results
    you intend to do good things but you are too lazy, weak, or busy to actually do them
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: spirit